The Bottom Ten
By Gaylon Kent
America’s Foremost Humorist
With zero (0) unvictoried teams remaining, the race for the ESPNCup – symbolic of Bottom Ten supremacy – might come down to which team wants it more, to which teams can sleepwalk through its remaining games better than the others.
The eyes of Bottom Ten fan(s) everywhere will be – where else? – on Conference USA this week as #1 Rice takes on #2 Florida Atlantic in the biggest game at Rice Stadium since Super Bowl VIII.
This week’s mess:
- Rice (1-7; lost to Louisiana Tech 61-16)
Mitigating Factors: Owls back on top of B-10 following spirited conference road loss…Rice can’t even be bothered to show token early interest, trailing 28-0 before anybody needed a deodorant…While no magic formula for B-10 success exists, B-10 pollsters “pretty sure” giving up over 300 yards rushing and 400 yards passing in a game one way to do it.
Hoot Hoot: Not only is Rice looking for first ever B-10 title, Owls also searching for seventh (7th) one win season ever, and first since iconic 2005 squad finished 1-10.
Next Loss: Florida Atlantic
2. Florida Atlantic (1-7; lost to Western Kentucky 52-3)
Mitigating Factors: 2009 B-10 champions sign off on upstart FAU’s B-10 title application issuing B-10 contenders another blowout loss…FAU another team that chooses “Surrender” at the opening coin flip, trailing 7-0 after three (3) plays…Football homepage has “Chat With A Ticket Rep” feature where every answer is “How Close to Midfield Do You Want To Sit?”…Defense just three (3) feet, 1.2 inches away from averaging 500 yards allowed per game.
Hoot Hoot II: With only win coming in opener, Owls not only in prime position for B-10 title by losing out, but also for Tostitos Plaque – issued to team(s) with longest losing streak in a season that actually includes a win.
Next Loss: at Rice
3. Kansas (1-7; lost to Oklahoma 56-3)
Mitigating Factors: Jayhawks impressing B-10 pollsters, losing big when they’re supposed in latest conference blowout…Jayhawk website already in post-football mode with pics of top-ranked basketball team on homepage, followed by pics of chick swimmer, volleyball player…Despite B-10 pollster(s) advice to have a basketball player return punts and just fall forward after catching kick, Jayhawks still averaging minus-18 inches per punt return.
Don’t’ Count Your Tostitos Plaques Before They Hatch: While Big-12 is not as tough as Conference USA or even the MAC, Jayhawks cannot get looking ahead to Nov 12 Iowa State game in their quest for a second straight B-10 title.
Next Loss: at West Virginia
4. Fresno State (1-8; lost to Air Force 31-21)
Mitigating Factors: Despite being first team to eight (8) losses and tied with FAU and Kansas with nation’s best seven (7) straight losses, Bulldogs still knocking on door to B-10 medal stand…Bulldogs turn in classic come-from-ahead loss, blowing 14-0 and 21-17 leads…Bulldogs show strong finishing kick, tossing interception and turning ball over on downs on last three drives, while defense gives up two (2) touchdowns.
FunFact: Bulldogs road to B-10 glory built the old fashioned way, with team unable to either rush the football or stop anyone else from doing it, ranking 119th in Rushing Offense and Next-To-Next-To-Dead-Last in Rushing Defense.
Next Loss: at Colorado State
5. Earlham (0-8; lost to Manchester 65-13)
Mitigating Factors: D-III Quakers lose 31st straight to retain Continental Cup – issued to team with longest all-division losing streak in ISIS sphere of influence…Total team effort sees offense turn in seven (7) drives of three (3) plays while defense escorts Manchester into end zone (end zone) on first six (6) drives…Earlham just two (2) losses away from taking Continental Cup – issued to team with longest all-division losing streak in NATO – home for the winter.
Run To Lose: Of the 664 NCAA football playing schools, Earlham’s 28.3 rushing yards per game ranks 663rd, trailing only an equally winless D-II team from the Deep South.
Next Loss: Bluffton
6. Iowa State (1-7; lost to Kansas State 31-26)
Mitigating Factors: Cyclones show type of heart that leads straight to B-10 glory, continuing to lose close ones, moving to 0-4 in games decided by a touchdown or less…Iowa State offense brilliantly inefficient, turning in three (3) drives of at least ten (10) plays, which produce a total of three (3) points…With three (3), two (2) and three (3) wins the past three (3) seasons, Cyclones looking to put it all together in 2016’s quest for B-10 glory.
On Point: With losable game this week, Cyclones cannot be caught looking ahead to Nov 12 showdown with Kansas.
Next Loss: Oklahoma (Nov 3)
7. Michigan State (2-6; lost to Michigan 32-23)
Mitigating Factors: B-10 pollsters still doing due diligence on Spartans, who have lost six (6) straight but had lost only five (5) games the past three seasons…Further research showed Spartans played in semifinals of something called the College Football Playoff after 2015 season…Spartans on first six (60-game skid since 1981-82 squads lost eight (8) straight…
FunFact: Spartans need help, but could claim Tostitos Plaque – issued to team(s) with longest losing streak in a season that actually includes a win(s) by losing out.
Next Loss: at Illinois
8. Waterloo (0-8; DNP)
Mitigating Factors: NAFTA-mandated entry, Warriors take Pierre Trudeau Cup, issued to Canadian B-10 champion…Groundskeepers fired after Week 1 fiasco where they mistakenly put two (2) 50-yard lines on field and made end zones 25-yards deep…Warriors advance to B-10 International Regionals, taking on Tijuana Tech in the quarterfinals.
FunFact: Warriors turn in second straight winless season and have lost 16 straight and 44 of 48.
Next Loss: 2017
9. UMess (2-7; defeated Wagner 34-10)
Mitigating Factors: B-10 title, medal stand hopes take big hit with win…Despite B-10 by-law mandating no penalty for win over lower level team, depth of 2016 field virtually eliminates any two (2)-win team…Schedule favorable, however, for strong B-10 finish as UMess finishes with final three (3) games in Alabama, Utah and Hawaii.
Name Game: Win over Wagner first Minuteman win over surnamed school since 1906 squad defeated Springfield, Brown and Williams.
Next Loss: at Troy
10. Big 12
Mitigating Factors: Conference that has produced numerous national football champions earns first ever B-10 Conference of the Week award…With so much parity in Conference USA, MAC and Sun Belt, B-10 pollsters cite Big 12 being only conference with two (2) teams that have lost at least four (4) straight games as deciding factor…30 percent of this week’s survey either the Big 12 itself or one of its schools.
FunFact: Conference on such a downturn it was only able to muster a .500 mark in conference play.
This Week’s Clash of the Titans: Florida Atlantic at Rice
This One Isn’t Going To Be Any Good, Either:Fresno State at Colorado State
Big Ten Thriller of the Week: Michigan State at Illinois